(Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Buffalo Bills defensive triplets ranked 17th in NFL

'Barnwell has us at No. 17 on his list.'

Recently, Bill Barnwell of ESPN ranked offensive triplets for every NFL team. The Buffalo Bills came in at No. 21 on that list.

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Now, Barnwell is looking at triplets on the defensive side of the ball. Buffalo's defensive triplets fared better as Barnwell listed this trio 17th.

17. Buffalo Bills

DT Marcell Dareus, CB Stephon Gilmore, DT Kyle Williams

It looked as if the Bills were primed for a historically great season after finishing second in DVOA in 2014 and then shutting out the much-vaunted Colts in Week 1 last season, but it turns out that neither the Colts' offense nor the Bills' defense were all that great. Rex Ryan's defense fell all the way to 24th in DVOA, and while Mario Williams served as a convenient scapegoat, the reality is that the team played worse almost across the board after the departure of Jim Schwartz. Ryan managed to develop second-rounder Ronald Darby into an immediate contributor, but the coach will want to re-sign Gilmore, who is quietly one of the league's better corners when healthy.

Based upon the trio that Barnwell selected, this seems like a fair ranking. However, you could question whether or not this trio is Buffalo's best on defense. Dareus, without a shadow of a doubt, belongs on this list and Gilmore is also a strong selection. However, Williams may not be among Buffalo's best defensive starters at this point in his career. Williams, 33, is coming off of a knee injury that put him on the injured reserve and it's unknown whether or not he'll be able to return to the high level that he once played. 

Instead of Williams, Barnwell should have considered the likes of Jerry Hughes and Ronald Darby. Adding one of these two players to the triplets in place of Williams would probably bump this trio up a few spots.


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